Partners in Performance Blog

Persuasion Series: Is Your Energy Contagious?


Judie Knoerle, my colleague and author of UPFRONT Persuasion Through Presentation,  a globally branded presentations skills program has contributed this post to our Persuasion Series. Judie is a presentations coach extraordinaire and she is called the “Presentations Whisperer” in Chicago where  she lives.

I’ve always believed that we should surround ourselves with people who replenish our energy rather than drain it. Audiences feel similarly about presenters.

If you speak at a low volume with limited voice modulation and few gestures, you will drain the energy of the audience as they struggle to engage with you and hear what you have to say. At some point they tune you out. They’ve had to work too hard to connect with your message.

On the other hand, when a speaker has an assertive tone, sufficient volume for the size of the room and a smile that pulls in the audience like a magnet, that’s when energy is contagious. The audience feels it and is engaged. When you are passionate about a topic, the energy comes more naturally.

But what if you are asked to speak about a topic you’re not that enthused about? You must learn to generate a sense of passion with your voice, your gestures and your expressions. Energy is contagious. When you look genuinely excited about a topic, you energize your audience.  Your energy reflects confidence. Confidence persuades.

Here is a tip on how to bring vigor into your presentations. Practice in front of trusted colleagues and get their feedback on your energy level. Ask them to rate  you on a scale of 1- 10, 10 being ideal. As you recharge, get out of your comfort zone by increasing your voice projection and using larger, more open gestures. Remember, while this new style may feel uncomfortable to you at first, how you feel inside and how you look to your audience are never the same.

When you invigorate your presentations, get ready to look out into the audience and notice how they are tuned in and smiling back at you.

What do you do to liven up your presentations?  I would love to hear from you.


This entry was posted by TanjaParsley on November 2, 2011 in Persuasion, Presentation Skills. Bookmark the permalink. Follow comments with the RSS feed for this post. Post a comment or leave a trackback.

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